Tacitus

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Publius, or Gaius Cornelius Tacitus (born around AD 56-died around AD 120), Roman historian. Known for two partially preserved works of history on the Roman Republic and empire: the Annals (covering AD 14-AD 68) and the Histories (AD 69-AD 96). He is also known to have written the Agricola, a biography of his father-in-law Gnaeus Julius Agricola, but that is only preserved in fragments. One well known excerpt of his writings is mention of Jesus and Christians.

Tacitus was primarily concerned with the concentration of power into the hands of the Roman Emperors. His writings are filled with tales of corruption and tyranny, and display a particular hatred for the emperor Tiberius.

His coverage of the Germanic peoples outside the empire is of mixed value to historians. Tacitus uses what he reports of the German character as a kind of 'noble savage' to compare to contemporary Romans and their perceived 'degeneracy'. However, he does supply us with many names for tribes. Indeed, this undependability goes so far that contemporary historians debate whether all these tribes were really Germanic in the sense that they spoke a Germanic language - some of them, like the Batavii, may have been Celts.

Tacitus survived a reign of terror and from a senator he advanced to consulship in AD 97 . Fifteen years later he received the highest civilian governorship, that of Western Anatolia. Tacitus was a friend of Pliny the Younger and was greatly admired by him. His wife was the daughter of Julius Agricola, who governed in Britain .